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"Looking back through history, I see no evidence for humanity making the best of things, and I think it's a pretty safe bet that's an on-going trend."
- Richard Morgan

Radioactive Ruin  
  The aftermath of atomic war is generations of ruin.  

This is, as far as I know, the first reference to the radioactive ruin that would follow upon the use of atomic weapons.

In the map of nearly every country of the world three or four or more red circles, a score of miles in diameter, mark the position of the dying atomic bombs and the death areas that men have been forced to abandon around them. Within these areas perished museums, cathedrals, palaces, libraries, galleries of masterpieces, and a vast accumulation of human achievement, whose charred remains lie buried, a legacy of curious material that only future generations may hope to examine....
Technovelgy from The World Set Free, by H.G. Wells.
Published by Macmillan & Co. in 1914
Additional resources -

Note the reference to the idea of "death areas" that must be abandoned by human beings.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The World Set Free
  More Ideas and Technology by H.G. Wells
  Tech news articles related to The World Set Free
  Tech news articles related to works by H.G. Wells

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